Pop-up sites, home testing part of state’s plan

WILMINGTON — In addition to its 19 fixed COVID-19 testing sites statewide, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency is planning eight to 10 pop-up sites weekly to respond to outbreaks, DEMA Director A.J. Schall said Tuesday at a weekly COVID-19 press briefing.

Those sites will change weekly based on data from the Delaware Division of Public Health. When more school districts go to a hybrid model with some in-person learning, pop-up sites will be located in those districts.

“Our job is to try to make sure they’re convenient, effective and they are where and when people need them,” Mr. Schall said.

The state is also continuing to roll out its new at-home test. These tests are mailed to an individual’s residence, done over Zoom with a medical professional for instruction and mailed to a lab with results expected in 48-72 hours, Mr. Schall said.

The at-home tests are for Delaware residents only. They are recommended for those 60 years old or older who might have trouble finding transportation to a testing site.

“We have the capacity to do it so I want to make sure it’s something people take advantage of,” Mr. Schall said.

More information on the at-home tests, including how to request one, can be found at de.gov/hometest.

The state shifted to 19 permanent testing sites a couple of weeks ago, which includes Walgreens, State Service Centers and Public Health Clinics. Those locations offer consistent testing on weekdays and weekends.

Walgreens testing requires no appointment while State Service Centers require registration by visiting delaware.curativeinc.com. Public Health Clinics are appointment only.

A full list of testing sites, including permanent and pop-ups, plus phone numbers to make an appointment at a Public Health Clinic, can be found at de.gov/gettested.

“It’s about really increasing access, convenience to people so they can get a test when and where they need it,” DPH Director Karyl Rattay said. “One of the important factors of this testing plan is when we do see elevations in a community, it helps us respond. We’re better able to respond with testing.”

Mr. Schall added the University of Delaware itself is doing more than 1,000 tests a week for its students and staff.

Also on Tuesday, Gov. John Carney, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information announced its new app COVID Alert DE will be interoperable with Pennsylvania’s exposure notification app, COVID Alert PA, which launched Tuesday.

COVID Alert DE and COVID Alert PA allow the exposure notifications to work across state lines using Bluetooth technology from Google and Apple to “securely and anonymously alert users who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.”

The COVID Alert DE mobile app is available in the App Store or Google Play.

If a person does test positive for COVID-19, they are encouraged to input a six-digit code into the COVID Alert DE app. The app will then run in the background, pinging other phones who are also running the app in an attempt to find other phones which might have been nearby during the time the individual could have been contagious with COVID-19.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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